The sign outside isn't very descriptive: FOOD COURT, it says, in yellow letters. It's not inside a shopping mall or a supermarket, or in any other place you'd usually find a food court. This is the end of a suburban strip plaza, next to two full-service restaurants, on Legacy Drive in Plano.
But inside Food Court, across from a Korean tofu specialist, is the least known of our Top 100 Restaurants in Dallas: Morefan. At the time our Top 100 ranking went online, Morefan had never before appeared in the Observer. Nor, for that matter, had it ever been mentioned in the Morning News, D Magazine, Eater, CultureMap or any other Dallas-area food media. But it is a good place to eat, and an important one.
Morefan is, as far as I can tell, the only place serving Xi'anese food in the Dallas area. The city of Xi'an is buried deep in the center of China, 700 miles southwest of Beijing. It's probably best known as the home of the Terracotta Army. Now, Plano diners are getting to know it as the capital of Shaanxi province, a region that happily slurps down biang biang noodles.
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Biang biang noodles are marked by their unusual size: wide, flat and unbelievably long. Each individual noodle at Morefan can stretch up to 2 feet in length. There's another dimension to this unique size, too. The Chinese character used to denote biáng is one of the largest and most complex in the whole language; it's written with 58 strokes, if it is ever written at all. Most dictionaries can't be bothered to include it.
At Morefan, biang biang noodles come topped with pork belly, peas, carrots and scallions and a savory, gently spicy sauce ($9). It's devilish fun to try to lap up the enormous noodles; don't hesitate to simply bite off what you can chew. If you're especially hungry, you can order a combo for $12, with a small sandwich on the side of your noodle bowl. Called rougamo, the sandwich resembles a chopped-meat order on a Chinese version of an English muffin, tucked into a small paper sleeve. (Opt for beef over greasier pork; by itself, a rougamo is $4.)
Morefan's menu is short, but next time we're in the neighborhood we'll be ordering the spicy oil-splashing noodles ($9), which our contacts assure us are exactly what they sound like: Yet another reason to get excited about the Top 100 Restaurants' ultimate underdog.
Morefan, 240 Legacy Dr., Plano